Report: Amtrak to return to Grand Central this summer, could revive FL9s

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Amtrak is planning to return its service between New York City and Albany-Rensselaer to Grand Central Terminal this summer, which could mean a return to action for stored FL-9 locomotives.

That was the word from Amtrak’s Empire District general superintendent, Kevin Chittenden, to Saturday’s meeting of the Emire State Passengers Association, the Albany Times-Union reports.

Chittenden told the meeting the double-track Empire Connector between Metro-North and Penn Station will be closed for maintenance work for three months this summer. He also said the railroad is looking for FL-9s to lease or borrow because they have a nose door that allows an engineer an escape route on two of the four tracks into Grand Central, which do not have enough clearance in tunnels to allow the use of side doors on current locomotives. Use of a cab car, with the locomotive pushing at the rear of the train, is also a possibility.

Contacted by Trains News Wire, Amtrak declined to comment on specifics of the report. “We are planning for ongoing infrastructure renewal in the New York City area this spring and summer, the details of which will be announced at a later date,” Jason Abrams of Amtrak Corporate Communications wrote in an email

There is a recent precedent for rerouting Empire Service trains into Grand Central. Amtrak did so with three Empire Service round trips between July 10-Sept. 1, 2017, to accommodate track work at Penn Station.

The full Times-Union report is available here.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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